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  • Writer's pictureMZSA

Easter: “The Egg Opener”

The Origin of Easter:

Easter is a pagan celebration which originated in the 2nd century, long before Jesus Christ was born and the birth of Christianity. Easter was a pagan festival celebrating the return of spring and commemorating the goddess of offspring and of springtime, Eastre.

In their attempts to convert the Anglo-Saxons of the north and to avoid bloodshed, 2nd century Christian missionaries very subtly introduced Christianity into their already existing Eastre festival. You see, the pagan festival of Eastre occurred at same time of year as the Christian observance of the Resurrection of Christ. Missionaries cleverly spread their religious message by allowing pagan feasts to continue, but in a Christian manner. Over time the festival celebrating Eastre was changed to Easter.

According to scholars:

The name Easter is derived from Oestar, a goddess of Spring and Renewal. The rabbit or hare symbolize fertility, new life, and the moon in ancient Egypt and may have become a symbol of Easter because the moon determines the date for easter. Ancient Egyptians called the hare Wenu, an insignia of the rising of the sun, Ra, and the resurrective powers of Osiris.

Prior to 325 A.D., Easter was celebrated on different days of the week. In that year, the Great Roman Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea (at which Nicene Creed was adopted) and issued an Easter Rule: Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. "Full Moon" is ecclesiastical full moon (the fourteenth day of a tabular lunation where day 1 corresponds to the ecclesiastical New Moon), and does not occur on the same date as the astronomical full moon. The ecclesiastical "vernal equinox" is always on March 21. Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25.

Lent: Lent begins 40 days or 46 days (if you count the Sundays) prior to Easter Sunday on what is called Ash Wednesday. Mardis Gras ("Fat Tuesday" feast, party, etc.) or "Carnival" as it has also been named, is celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. This gives everyone a chance to "get it all out" before the sacrifices of the Lent period begin.

The Cross: The Cross, a symbol of Crucifixion, was decreed the official symbol of Christianity by Constantine at the Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.). It is not an Easter symbol but is widely used (especially by the Catholic Church) as a year-round symbol of faith.

The Easter Bunny: This symbol originated with the pagan festival of Eastre who was worshipped by Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol the rabbit. This tradition was brought to America by the Germans and was widely ignored by other Christians until after the Civil War. Easter was not widely celebrated in America until after that time

The Easter Egg: The Easter Egg is the oldest, universally used symbol of rebirth or new life. The tradition surrounding the Easter Egg predates the Christian celebration of Easter. It is a centuries old custom to celebrate springtime. The Egg is a symbol of rebirth in most cultures. Eggs were often wrapped in gold leaf or peasants colored them brightly by boiling them with the leaves or petals of flowers, then given to friends.

A Polish legend is that the first Good Friday a man was taking a basket of eggs to market to sell and on the way he put the basket down and ran to help Christ carry the cross. Upon his return, the eggs were decorated in beautiful colors and designs. Many Polish continue the tradition of "Pisnaki" decorated eggs. Czechs, Romanians, Ukranians also follow this tradition. Many of the designs can have significant meanings and are handed down from generation to generation. Different symbols are characteristic of different regions.

Eggs are always included in the food basket taken to church for the traditional Easter Saturday blessing. The Easter Resurrection is symbolized by lambs, rabbits, lilies, crosses and the most popular for our time, the Easter Egg.

*Easter is a pagan holiday that has morphed its way into Christianity. It was originally a holiday to the pagan goddess Aestarte, or Diana of Ephesus in the book of Acts. Rabbits are notorious for breeding hence the Easter Bunnies.

What is the origin of the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs?

Originating among German Lutherans, the "Easter Hare" originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes. ... The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau's De ovis paschalibus ('About Easter Eggs') in 1682, referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter eggs for the children.

Easter Festivity

Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as "Holy Week"—it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus

In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the fiftieth day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the fortieth day, the Feast of the Ascension.

Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels.

In most liturgical churches Palm Sunday is celebrated by the blessing and distribution of palm branches or the branches of other native trees representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Christ as he rode into Jerusalem. The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees, including box, olive, willow, and yew. The Sunday was often named after these substitute trees, as in Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday.

Good Friday Christian Holiday

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, and Black Friday.

NOTE: Easter as mentioned in Acts 12:4, does not relate to Christ’s death or burial but actually to the Passover. Some literature also reports it is actually the name of the month of April, naming the first spring month “East/Sunrise month.”

References Scriptures: Why we, as Commandment Believers, do not celebrate the Easter Festivities. Jesus did not die on Friday & raise on Sunday!

Daniel 9: 27 ~ Speaks of the day when Christ died – Midst of the week

Matthew 27: 45-46,50-62 ~ Speaks of the time of day Jesus died

John 19:31-33 & 42 ~ Why they had to get Jesus off of the cross

Matt 12: 40 ~ Speaks of how long Jesus would be dead and buried for

Matt 28:1 & Mark 16: 1&2 ~ Jesus was already risen

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